Even the shell of the NFL cornerback known as Darrelle Revis could help the secondary of the New York Giants at the right price.
Darrelle Revis obviously isn’t what he was in his physical prime. The owner of what was formerly known as “Revis Island” turns 32 years old in July. As Tyler Harris of The Landry Hat recently explained, Revis surrendered a passer rating of 91.7 during his final year with the New York Jets last season. Any value his stock had following the 2016 campaign plummeted when he was linked with an alleged street brawl that occurred in Pittsburgh this past February even though all charges against him were eventually dismissed.
Before exploring why it would make sense for the New York Giants to give Revis a call, it first must be pointed out that any Big Blue fans hoping they’d see the Revis of old patrolling the secondary during home games at MetLife Stadium should embrace the reality of the situation. It’s possible, if not likely, Revis wouldn’t earn a single interception during a one-and-done season with the Giants. And there’s no question his days as a “lockdown corner” — if you think those players even exist in the modern NFL — ended before the calendar turned to 2017.
With all of that said, the Giants bringing Revis in for at least a meeting should happen sooner than later, if only so the waters can be tested. Per Spotrac, the Giants reportedly have minimal cap space to work with at the moment, although that $6.408 million varies, slightly, if you take a spin around the Internet and check sources such as Over the Cap. Either way, the Giants are in no position to get into a bidding slap-fight let alone a bidding war over a defensive back in the twilight of his career.
According to Spotrac, Revis has made over $110 million, approximately, from NFL contracts alone. He also already owns a Super Bowl ring he earned as a member of the New England Patriots. The Giants would need to learn if Revis is chasing one final significant contract, one more title or neither before even considering offering him a deal.
The Giants almost assuredly couldn’t get past the money part, though, and it’s always been about the money with Revis in his career. Revis is still owed $6 million by the Jets this year, but with offset conditions. Unless Revis is desperate to prove something and not let last year’s debacle be his swan song as a player, why would he sign for the veteran minimum somewhere and still only make the $6 million he could get from his couch?
Say, for the sake of argument, Revis sees the writing on the wall and wants one more shot at hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy before he begins thinking about the Hall-of-Fame ceremony that’s in his not-so-distant future. The Giants may be the perfect home for him. As former New York punter Steve Weatherford recently explained, there’s something to be said for familiarity. What current free agent knows more about playing defensive back at MetLife than Revis?
The Giants need depth, not Revis at his absolute best, once meaningful games begin in September. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple already have their lineup spots earned, but there are concerns about those lower on the team’s depth chart at the position. Would you rather trust Revis or the likes of Michael Hunter or the undersized Donte Deayon to make one play in the fourth quarter of a big game?
Let’s also not forget what Revis could offer the Giants behind the scenes. Sure, individuals such as Hunter, Deayon and others on the roster are still learning how to play defense in the NFL, but even some of the team’s starters could use some seasoning. Apple turns 22 years old in August. Landon Collins, recently named the NFC’s highest-graded safety by Pro Football Focus, is 23. Think they, or even a veteran such as Jenkins, couldn’t learn from a future gold-jacket recipient such as Revis?
The Giants are a “Super Bowl or bust” team at the start of summer, and not just because quarterback Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger. The Big Blue defense is capable of carrying the Giants beyond just a playoff berth, and the team’s secondary could be even better than it was a year ago if younger stars continue to make positive steps in their career paths. Even the hope Revis could make the Giants slightly better is worth the investment for the 2017 season.
Revis’ legacy is already set. He’ll have his day in Canton roughly five years after he officially retires. He is a one-time champion who can wait until players suffer injuries in training camp sessions and preseason games, and then hope some team with cap space will offer him up to $8 million to phone-in performances during what may be his last season in the NFL. Or he can chase one more Super Bowl appearance with a Giants side on the cusp of making a run toward a title.